Monday, October 15, 2018

With God's Help

I don't know where to begin. I'm exhausted from our 9 hour round trip today, so I think I'll tell most of this story with photos. If you haven't read this link, His Name is James, you may want to read it first since it tells the backstory. But if you'd rather not, I'll give you a short recap. James lives in a community called Crusoe Island surrounded by the Green Swamp in Eastern North Carolina. He's one of many in the Carolinas teetering on the edge of poverty. The very people who, when faced with setbacks tend to give up hope of ever pushing their way up and out. Most times they just dig in a little deeper until no one knows they’re there.

The people in Crusoe were hit with an enormous setback after Hurricane Florence flooded their community in late September. James wasn't the only one hit hard and he's not the only one struggling to recover. He lives humbly in a small shack (way off the beaten path) that I'll estimate to be about 16' wide by 12' deep. He didn't have much in his house, but what he did have, he lost. Here's a photo that I took today.

James' humble abode

After the torrential rain that accompanied Florence, James went to bed one night not knowing what the next day would bring. His power was out and his flip phone's battery had died. He awakened to find his house flooded. The water continued to rise to about 4.5 feet and he was forced to make his way out of his property by this small handcrafted boat. He was rescued at the end of the road almost 2 miles away.
He also lost his truck in the flood. Our purpose for visiting him today was to take him a Jeep that we bought along with Henry's brother Gary. Two other friends also donated generously to the cause and we're hoping to get a few more contributions from other generous souls. We had planned to have a fundraiser, but James was in such dire need of transportation, we didn't want him to have to wait that long so we went ahead and bought it trusting that God would make a way. It was an absolute joy to see his face as Henry handed him the title and the keys!

A big smile

James introduced us to another survivor of the flood. Charlie, a small bear cub, has been hanging around since the flood receded. James thinks he must have become separated from his mother as they were swept downstream from the Waccamaw River. He sleeps in the big oak tree behind the house and plays hide and seek most days. He's a fat little bear so he must be getting plenty to eat. His presence has been a great diversion for James.
Charlie the Bear

On our way in and out of the road that leads into this community, we were dismayed to see the results of the flood. We only took a few photos, but every single homeowner seemed to have all their belongings ruined and out at the curb for trash pickup.
I look at this chair and wonder how many children and grandchildren have been held and comforted in it; how many family gatherings it has seen in its day; how many generations of this family have placed their weary bodies in it after a hard day's work. I look at this chair and I see myself; my own favorite chair sitting atop a mound of memories and I want to crawl up into it and cry for the person who placed it there. 

When we heard about the flooding in that area, we had struggled with how to help. When you donate your money to flood relief, you don't know where it's going. But then God put James in our path and we knew exactly what to do.


  1. Oh, Glenda, such a beautiful story. God will bless you and Henry for your kindness. You both were truly the arms and legs of Jesus as you took care of this man. You will be blessed.

    1. Carolyn, just knowing him has been a blessing to us. He's a kind and good man.

  2. What you did for James was truly wonderful. It must have been terrible for you having to see all that devastation and loss as you travelled along. Blessings to you my friend.


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